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Model Broderick Hunter On Self-Worth & Why He Champions For Black Women

#xoMan

If you've ever wanted to see what #BlackBoyJoy looks like in the flesh, look no further than model and actor Broderick Hunter.

One scroll down his Twitter and Insta feed will not only have you craving chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it will leave you refreshed by his authenticity, humility, and humor. With a career that boasts walking runways and securing campaigns for some of fashion's biggest names, to starring in hit shows on television, Broderick is definitely one to watch for.


Back in Cali and fresh off a flight from New York, he is at ease and light-hearted in our meeting. It didn't take long for the conversation to smoothly transition from a formal interview to a talk between old friends. We converse and banter as if we've known each other for years and it's immediately clear to see why he's maintained longevity in his career and in the industry. Broderick is genuine and purposeful in everything he says and does. He doesn't hold back or spare the truth. He's true to himself, no matter what it looks like or how it may come off to others, something he says he's mastered seemingly since birth.

"I've always been a real organic type of person. I've never tried to put up facades. I don't like to tell people what they want to hear. I've always been a real person, that's just how I've been my entire life," he explained. "When my career started going and I got into modeling, it just kind of translated into that. It just never really changed. When people gravitate towards me, they always say how carefree and wild I am so I try to carry that over into my regular life and my 'celebrity' life."

Broderick Hunter/Instagram

And while others may feel the need to alter their personality once they've reached a certain level of success, Broderick definitely knows better. The 6'2'' Cali native has learned a thing or two about keeping his self-worth in tact. He knows that it's not just what you do in this world that matters, but who you are and who you become in the process. Being in the industry for almost 10 years, he's fully aware of how important it is to keep your character and integrity intact.

"I'm not a product of what I do and my success, I'm a product of the type of person I am. My parents have always taught me to just be a good person, you know? You could be flat broke but if you're a good person, you'll always have love and support. So I always lead with that foot first. Sometimes I feel, in this industry, people don't really know how to separate what they do from who they are."

"I'm not a product of what I do and my success, I'm a product of the type of person I am."

"We're in an era of microwave success now where a lot of great things are happening to people very quickly. You can upload a video tomorrow and then any of these major pop stars can come up on it and next thing you know, you're walking the red carpet at the VMAs. That's how quick things can happen."

Though he's definitely not mad at newcomers who have forged their way into the spotlight, he understands that the rules of the game have changed. He warns however, that while social media can aid in your success, it can also make you miss steps that help build and keep you grounded when you go through the trenches, which is something he knows firsthand. Broderick's journey was one that was met with rejection and resistance early on. In another interview with Bold TV, he makes mention of the fact that various industry insiders were very apprehensive in considering him for campaigns and shows. They cited his athletic build, his dark skin, and the fact that he was a black male as reasons why he wouldn't be a good fit.

Looking back, he sees that ultimately it all worked out for the better as he has been able to continuously amass a great level of success despite the naysayers. Nowadays, he likes to use his social media platforms as a tool to engage with his followers and fans, something that he says is done on purpose.

"I have to use social media now to bring my brand to where it is, but it's a tool for me. Social media is a tool not lifeline for me. I'm all for the way the industry is going now, it's a lot more entertaining. You're able to get an idea of who people are before you ever meet them," he said. "That's not to say that's EXACTLY who they are but you can gauge their personality from what they post and everything. I really feel like opening up and being personable with people has really helped my brand get to where it is. It allows people to know that I'm a real person, I'm a regular person."

And personable he is. The minute you find yourself on Broderick's Twitter page, you become instantly intrigued and invested in his interactions with women and you may find yourself getting gassed up by him on anything from your edges to your melanin to your makeup. That's because for him, championing and hyping up black women specifically is something he stans for. Early on before modeling and acting caught his eye, the black women in his life had it first. He credits everything he's learned to black women, from hair-care, skin-care, self-care, and the like.

He says that he realized the value they brought into his life at a young age and made it a point to uplift, revere, and adore black women openly and without shame. And in an industry that likes to celebrate features akin to ours and not us, he believes that it's not only important but very necessary.

"I've always campaigned for black women because I saw early on the value that they had, not only in my life but the value they brought to the world. As I started to grow up and through my basketball stages and everything, I value and appreciate all women, but black women were always important to me. I've seen how they've helped me grow and the things that they've taught me. Everything I know, I've learned from black women."

"Everything I know, I've learned from black women."

He continued, "In my career, I started to see how devalued the black woman was and how much they were not celebrated the way I celebrated them. So I made it a point to always campaign for what I believe in and I've always believed in the rights, the love, and the information that a black woman has to offer. I really push for that because I want people to have the same experience I had and see the things I see in black women and what they can do. So, when I got to the point in my career where I felt like I really had a voice that would echo, I made it a point to love and support black women. I love to gas my sisters."

And it's pretty safe to say that his sisters love him. Amidst crazy comments and DMs from those who try to do the absolute most vying for his attention, when it comes to dating he says all he's really looking for is someone who knows how to hold their own. A humble woman who is secure in herself and has things going for herself. Someone who's not looking to attach themselves to him for clout's sake, but someone who's interested in building together.

"Obviously looks attract but when it comes to dating I look for reciprocity. Beauty doesn't impress me anymore. I look for inner qualities like how she was raised, how she treats other people, and if she has fashion sense because I don't mind my girl dressing me. And if she can throw down in the kitchen that's a plus too."

All I have to say is, where do I sign up?

For more on Broderick, keep up with him on Instagram.

Featured image by Ron Adar / Shutterstock.com

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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